July 21, 2015Hello! I am David Richardson, proud alumnus of the Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. I am excited to share how SU provided the perfect college experience that has helped me become the engineer I am today. Freshman year, my Engineering 101 class for electrical and computer engineers provided the foundation of what true engineering is. The class consisted of complex problem-solving using only the information present in the problem. I can remember being in a room in Link Hall with classmates, drawing diagrams, creating graphs and flow charts, trying to break down the larger problem into smaller problems to uncover the correct answer. I remember the process we went through to solve the problem and the euphoria we felt when we had the correct answer. The class taught me how to think as an engineer and made me aware of the process it takes to solve the complex problems engineers face today. The collaborative environment that SU fosters that I experienced as an undergrad allowed me and my peers to become well-rounded engineers. The fact that I can be an advanced problem solver and collaborate with other engineering disciplines to meet the needs in industry, and also interact effectively with customers is a skill that I developed at SU. It provided the academic and social platform that propelled my career. My first job after graduating was at a radar systems company in Syracuse. My work focused on integration and test of air traffic control systems currently deployed at major airports, both domestic and international. My job was to work with a team to find and develop solutions to safely control air traffic at the busiest airports in the world by providing pilots and air traffic controllers real-time, accurate air traffic information. I have been able to excel at providing customers with solutions thanks to the well-rounded environment and experiences that SU provided. The SU community is special to me because of the long-lasting connections I made with people. Most—if not all—alumni feel this way. You can tell by the amount of alumni that participate in the numerous events that SU hosts across the country and world. The SU Alumni Association which hosts great networking events and opportunities for me to speak to new and current students helps keep me engaged. Being an alumnus of SU has open doors for me both professionally and socially that I hope any member of the SU family can experience. My advice to new and current students is embrace teamwork, build as many connections as you can, and experience EVERYTHING that SU has to offer. SU will give an experience of a lifetime and provide you with an elite skill set to navigate your career. Engineers have a special way of doing things that is strongly desired by corporations and organizations. SU will cultivate that way and you will benefit tremendously from it.